Freedom Collective Statement on the London Anarchist Bookfair

Regarding the announcement by the London Bookfair collective that, following events at this year’s gathering, they will not be organising another one in 2018, the Freedom Collective has drafted the following statement:

The Freedom Collective condemns the actions of trans exclusionary radical feminist (Terf) activists at the London Anarchist Bookfair 2017.

Distributing and displaying transphobic literature is an explicit attack on trans people’s existences and the safety of those people at the event. We stand in solidarity with our trans comrades, particularly trans women and other transfeminine folk, and all who were affected by the actions of Terf activists at the bookfair. We recognise that a politics and feminism that excludes the experiences of trans people has no place in the anarchist movement. Terfs regularly employ tactics of harassment, stalking and doxxing of trans people; outing them to their workplaces and families and exposing them to state violence. Again, this has no place in the movement.

Events at the bookfair have highlighted ongoing issues with the exclusion of marginalised groups from the anarchist movement. It is clear that the bookfair had reached a size and scope such that the current organising model needs to change to accommodate new demands and pressures.

In the light of the bookfair collective’s announcement that they will not be doing one next year there are now opportunities for others in the anarchist community to step up and look to organise events in 2018 that are inclusive and responsive to the movement.

We have been thinking about how we can work to show solidarity with the trans community in the aftermath of this, beyond our words and this statement, so put together a resources and suggestions list below. If you have suggestions for other things, let us know. If you’re unsure what all the fuss was about, educate yourself about why those leaflets were so messed up, on the history of Terf politics and of trans-misogyny in order to challenge it and fight it, some articles are provided (CW: some of these articles quote Terfs in order to challenge them, so do include examples of transphobia and trans-misogyny).

Resources

Being active

  • Organise an action, a film night or something else for the next Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th to remember all of the people that have been killed due to anti-transgender violence (overwhelmingly trans women and other trans feminine people of colour) See https://tdor.infohttps://www.glaad.org/tdor and #TDOR for more information.
  • Organise a letter writing night, a benefit or some other event for the Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity on January 22nd.
  • Support Action for Trans Health who raise money and campaign to improve access to healthcare for trans people. You could become a member with a monthly subscription
    send a one-off donation or buy a t-shirt on their ebay store.
  • Listen, centre and amplify the voices of trans people, particularly trans women and trans feminine people of colour.
  • if you are on twitter you can start doing the above by checking out: #30DaysofTransResilience, @travisalabanza, @junodawson, @reinagossett, @janetmock, @RaquelWillis_, @audrelorde, @TransActualUK, @TPrideBrighton, @TransMediaWatch, @BlackTransMedia,  @act4transhealth, @LDN4TransHealth, @qtipoc_CC, @TransLawCenter, @tgijp, @theMAJORdoc.
  • Challenge the trans-misogyny we see and hear in our everyday lives.stand up if you see someone facing transphobic abuse, including online when people get a torrent of hate from Terfs and other transphobes. e.g.show @travisalabanza some love at the moment who continues to be targeted for demanding they use the changing room of their choice at topshop.

Freedom Collective (majority view)